Keys for a deep field MTT

uglytunauglytuna Red Chipper Posts: 130 ✭✭
I’ve participated in many, many MTT tournaments. I’m an east coast player and I make my home at the Borgata and Parx casinos. Just recently back in January, myself and few friends played in Borgata Winter Poker Open, and participated in the 2 million guaranteed opening event.
As usual the Borgata holds a great event and this event proved to be awesome. Borgata broke their own record and had over 5500 players for a $560 event. Amazing !

Unfortunately my two bullets didn’t work out for me this time around but I did have a friend who finish 4 tables away from the final table. Just before Day2 began, my friends and I had some breakfast and I asked my friend (The friend who made the deep run) how his Day 1 went. Well he finished Day 1 with 400K+ and said he got smashed with the deck; Aces and Kings 5 times each and QQ and Jacks for handful of times. More importantly those hands held up. So I’m thinking to myself, is this how you need to run to navigate a deep MTT field? Just get hit by the deck and run good?

Personally I have some very good results in fields of this size. Leaves me wondering, what’s the best game plan to make such a deep run.

Playing in a smaller fields are easier to navigate, less land mines (As I like to say).

So my question I ask, what’s the best way to accumulate chip? What ingredients is required. So came up with my own list and would like to compare it against yours.

These are my poker traits and firmly believe you must possess them too:
(1) Patience : Without patience you simply will not be a winning player. This is one of two most important and basic fundamentals in this game.
(2) Discipline: This is the other trait you must possess or you will not be a winning player.
(3) Position: Personally for me this is the most important ingredient in poker after #1 and #2
(4) Pay attention: Someone once asked Phil Ivey for a poker tip and when I first heard it I thought it was so vanilla. Ivey said “Pay Attention”. He didn’t elaborate just a simple two word answer. At first I was like, Come on !!! However after becoming a better player and student of this game, he is 1000% right. You need to pay attention !!! I mean pay attention to every detail at your table. These days I’m like a watchman, I pay attention to everything going on around me at the table. I probably have a better idea what players are doing then themselves. I’m watching…
a. Are my villains looking at their cards early or do they wait till it folded to them. How do they react to their cards. Do they place them in a manner that’s tips off their hand.
b. How they put their clips in? What are their mannerisms? Any patterns?
c. Bet Sizing, do we see any patterns here
d. BB: be aware every stacks sizes at all times. Are short stack players desperate and ready to get it in. Is the table leader becoming more active? Is someone tilting?
e. Body Language, do they have tells?
(5) Exploitation: If you paying attention, you can develop a very good scouting report. Now it’s time to devise a plan how to exploit their play. Each player type is different and every style can be exploited.
(6) Hand Selection: Knowing what hands to play from what position, with what stack size vs the villains stack size is key. Combine this with number 2 (Discipline) you can become a very good player. Also knowing players tendencies by paying attention will help you to exploit a good plan later. It can also help decide what hands to play.
(7) Post Flop: To separate the men from the boys you need to be able to hand read well. If you can read post flop and combine that with position (#3) you will be lethal at the table. This is one of the reasons why I’m here at Red Chip to develop my post flop reading ability and aggression factor. I want to be able to hand read until its unconsciously ingrained into my mind and blood. This could take a life time to master but I’m approving every day.

I’m ending this list here as there are probably a few more we can add. Please comment and add some of your own, I love to hear them. If we do all 7 traits above you will be successful at this game. However, I’m not convince that if you do all the above will net you a victory in a 5000+ player MTT Field. I believe must have add more aggression to your game to take your game to the final table.

So let me add these...

(1) Aggression: if you are not aggressive you will not win a deep field MTT. NO WAY !!!! Unless you sold your soul to the devil it’s not happening. Personally I’m a hybrid player, I’m TAG and can change my gears to LAG once my stack or table conditions dictate such. I believe the remaining list are tools you need in your poker tool box, to get you a deep run in a deep MTT event. If you notice all these below have one thing in common, they are all aggressive moves.
(2) Stealing: You must be a good at stealing to last in these events. When you go card dead, you must steal just enough to keep you afloat. Stealing can give you enough equity to buy enough time to wait for a monster hands.
(3) 3B more: Good MTT players all have this quality, they know when to 3B or reshove over LP openers. Sometimes you can chip up very nicely if you can execute a well time 3B. I’m not talking about 3B with your top 3% of your hands. I’m talking about finding spots where you know the opener or conditions are very light. Increasing my 3B percentage, as high as 9% of hands. Every last player on the final table will be aggressive and probably have a 3B% around 9%.
(4) Semi-bluffing: Simply waiting for monster hands in such deep fields is not enough. Semi-bluffing in position with draws, should yield a huge difference in results. Expect higher variance in result when you are semi-bluffing. Can’t stay stagnant.
(5) Bluffing: Bluffing is key and you need to be able to tell your story to make it believable. Finding the right Villain to bluff is key too.
(6) Blind vs Blind Battles: You may need to win these battles? I’m not a player who likes to give walks, I usually opt for the aggressive route. Bet sizing is key during these battles. I won at least one monster pot in one of these battles when I went deep. I’ve also lost a few tournaments here too.
(7) Gamble: At one point you need to gamble. Your stack always dictates your optimal play. When you are grinding a short s tack, sometimes you need to make such a moves with live cards. Maybe you only hold 40% equity and that’s a good gamble Stack with less than 20BB should be creating ways to get their chips in. Its criminal to blind yourself out of any tournament. Go down in a blaze of glory.
(8) Push/Fold: The best of the best know how to push / fold correctly. This is probably an art form and it takes years to master. Software today is readily available to make you better at this.
(9) Image: Must be self-aware of your perceived image as well as aware of your villains images. Kind of goes hand and hand with paying attention and exploitation.
(10) Be Sticky: Some of the best players, I’ve witness are those sticky players. I call them the pain in the asses at the table. Sticky players will float, steal or pot control. Sticky players don’t just play fit or fold, they stick around.

I’m curious what other traits are required.

Is the key to a deep field success come down to the cards and hope you run pure? Please tell me what am I missing to get to that final table. I want to hold that trophy in the end.



  • MonadMonad Red Chipper Posts: 1,004 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    Know what you're trying to accomplish with various stack sizes at various points in the tournament. Vague, but it's true/valuable, and your question(s) is way too in depth & would take too many pages to answer.

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